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Want an easy way to review concepts you’re currently studying? Make a “Talk About It Box”! A “Talk About It Box” is simply a small box (like an empty tissue box) that’s been decorated and filled with question strips that relate to a current topic of study. During lulls in the day (or transition times), you can pull out a strip and call on a student to answer the question. You could even pull one for every student and tell them that as soon as they answer their question, they can line up for lunch/ get their coat for recess/ stand behind their chair, etc.
To make this, you’ll need:
- an empty Kleenex box
- construction paper
- strips of cardstock paper OR index cards (laminated if you want to reuse them)
- stickers or other decorative materials (optional)
1.) First, cover the tissue box with construction paper, leaving the hole open at the top.
2.) Think of prompts or questions to write on the strips or cards. These questions can relate to a current unit (How many planets are in our solar system?) or be general discussion questions (What’s one new thought you had during science today?). They could even be “get to know you” questions (What’s your favorite game to play at home?)
3.) Use markers, stickers, and any other decorative materials to decorate your box.
4.) Place the prompt/question strips/cards into the top hole of the box, and voila! You’re ready to go!
When to “Talk About It”:
This is a great way to keep kids engaged during transition times, and also an impressive way to use ‘down time’ if an administrator pops in while you’re lining up for lunch or switching between subjects! Substitute teachers could even use it if they’re in your room and need a way to control chaos when returning after lunch or specials.
How to Fill the Question Strips:
You could have students come up with their own prompts/questions if you teach older grades. For younger grades, here are just a few to get you started:
-Name two things that you would find in the kitchen.
-What are two words that start with the /f/ sound?
-What is the last letter in the alphabet?
-Name three types of fruit.
-Name two pieces of clothing you would wear in the winter.
-What noise would you make if you were a cow?
-What number comes after 10?
-Name two words that end with a /t/ sound.
-Name a green vegetable.
-Name a primary color.
Now, go Talk About It!
Kelly Lewis is a graduate student a The University of Georgia and a regular contributor to A Learning Experience.